Treating a disease — a decision tree

Darn! I got sick. I haven’t been sick since my viral encephalitis two years ago, but here I am again running a fever and it has been going on for a couple of weeks.

Of course, everyone asks what my doctors have given me by way of treatment. And they are a bit nonplussed when I tell them I haven’t been to see a doctor.

So here’s my reasoning.

Symptoms

The first thing I do if I seem ill is to examine the symptoms. Here’s what I experienced:

  • inflammation in my mouth, particularly at the base of my tongue, spreading to infect my right tonsil and the right side of my face up towards the ear.
  • difficulty swallowing for a few days
  • fatigue, gradually increasing to sleep several hours during the day
  • running a mild fever, never over 100F
  • brain fog

Analysis

My conclusions in reviewing the symptoms were fairly straight forward:

  • clearly I had an infection of some sort. Was it viral or bacterial
  • my immune system was responding — I was running a fever
  • if it were bacterial, an antibiotic would deal with it fairly quickly, however the potential damage to my microbiome, not to mention long term effects such as those caused by floxacins, could be devastating. Generally, doctors just prescribe general purpose anti-biotics without any concern for side or long term after effects.
  • if it were viral, no particular treatment would likely make any difference, unless the virus could be isolated and there were a suitably targeted anti-viral available. It would take time and exposure to medical facilities with all their prevalent disease, to even hope to find this level of anti-viral support; likely I would recover before that could be achieved.
  • the drain on my body of dealing with the medical system was more deleterious that just letting my body recover

Treatment

So, with that analysis what was the path I moved forward on? Here it is:

  • I did not go to a doctor. Such a visit, besides putting extra stress on me, would lead to the doctor thinking it was either viral or bacterial, but hedging bets would possibly prescribe an antibiotic. Testing for a virus or bacterial source might occur, but the results would not likely affect treatment unless the condition worsened seriously.
  • As an anti-viral I increased my consumption of zinc picolate (50 mg) and quercetin (1,000 mg) to two tablets of each daily, taken morning and evening. I increased vitamin C to 2 grams daily.
  • I rested! Lots of rest, listen to my body and when it said “I’m tired”, just sleep
  • I drank lots of water. You might prefer a bit of tea, but I go with water. My water has no chlorine or flourine and is very highly filtered
  • I fasted. I moved to a daily intake of about 500 calories for several days — yes, I lost about 5 pounds in 3 – 4 days. This lets the body focus on repairing itself
  • I was patient. I just did this until the body healed. It took almost 3 weeks to clear the situation.

Convalesence

When I was a child medicine and the treatment of illness was quite different than it is today. There were very few doctors. There were few medicines — the only one I can remember from those times is aspirin.

Generally people were thinner, ate only organic food and did not eat processed food. (There were no sprays to put on plants to kill insects. All food was prepared at home from mostly locally produced sources.) If a person got sick the standard treatment was to rest, drink lots of water or tea, and eat thin soup (consomme or chicken or vegetable broth). The process of healing might take a few days or in some cases weeks. It a fever got high (say over about 102 F) then a little aspirin might be taken or alternatively cold towels applied to the forehead.

I generally eat only organic food, much of which I grow myself. We prepare almost all of our own meals and buy very few packaged foods. I don’t get sick very often now, but if I do I now follow the procedure noted above. I do consult with doctors from time to time but generally as a proactive measure associated with getting biological tests performed.

The process was called convalescence. It is more or less the process I follow now. It works